Acid-based fertilisers and other chemicals have been used widely in agriculture since the mid-1800’s.
Such products have provided primary producers with a water-soluble source of nutrients that are needed to grow a crop or pasture.
While anywhere up to most of the microbes that typically live in soils are killed by such products, the faster availability of nutrients that these products can provide has been seen as being a more important factor in the growth and health of your yield.
But what do we miss out on by killing off the soil biology?
The role of nitrogen fixation by rhizobia and other bacteria for plant growth has been known for decades.
What is less understood is the influence that other microbes have on soil and plant health, growth and sustainability. These microbes are now recognised as improving retention and access to moisture, enhancing stress tolerance, providing disease resistance, aid in balanced nutrient availability and uptake, and promoting biodiversity in the soil.
The most intense interactions between microbes and plants take place at the rhizosphere, which is the interface between plant roots and the soil.
Soil microbes and their microbial activity have a tremendous influence on your plants health and productivity. One benefit for the plant is access to a balanced nutritional food supply.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi form an intricate relationship with the roots of most flowering plants and are associated with the provision of phosphorus to the plant.
Bacteria of theAzospirillum genus promote increased root mass and more efficient nitrogen uptake from the soil.
Best of both worlds?
How can we maintain fast access to nutrients applied through fertilisers while not killing off the soil microbes that make for a stronger and healthier plant?
This is exactly what we have designed a BioAg program to achieve.
Our products, which contain bacterial and fungal cultures, provide significant benefits to the grower as their soils become more biologically active and allow for more efficient utilisation of the applied nutrients. This potentially leads to a reduction in the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous fertiliser required, we have case studies where it has done just that.
An increase in beneficial microbes will create healthy and productive soils that enhance plant health and growth along with sustainability.
A BioAg Area Manager would be more than happy to show how our programs mix conventional nutrients with products that improve how your soil handles those nutrients, and moisture, as well as deals better with pests, disease, heat and frost stresses.
If you don’t want to take their word for it, ask to see our trials and research.
By combining the best of both worlds, BioAg customers are happy ones.
Beneficial microorganisms for sustainable agriculture
Following conclusion is by Cr. Dr. Vadakattu Gupta
It is essential to enhance the activities of microbes that benefit plant nutrition, control diseases and assist plants to cope with a variety of abiotic stresses to sustain and improve global food production in future climate scenarios while maintaining environmental health. A diverse range of beneficial microorganisms have been found but their reliable use in field environments is yet to be fully realised. New knowledge on soil microbial diversity can lead to the discovery of new generation inoculants as well as improve survival and performance of beneficial microbes in situ following their introduction into foreign environments.
Dr. Vadakattu Gupta is a principal research scientist in CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences at Waite campus in Adelaide. His research interests are in the areas of functional microbial ecology and plant-microbe-soil interactions with current focus on unravelling the genetic and functional diversity of disease suppressive microbial communities and rhizosphere dynamics of microbiota and biological functions.
Rererence: http://microbiology.publish.csiro.au/?act=view_file&file_id=MA12113.pdf viewed 27/08/2014.
A copy of this file appears here: Dr V Gupta